This year, World Diabetes Day falls on November 14th. To mark the event, and to raise awareness of the condition, many charities and organisations including the International Diabetes Federation will be hosting activities around this date.
As explained by NHS Choices, the pancreas creates insulin to maintain a constant level of sugar in the blood. It is when the pancreas doesn’t perform this task correctly that the blood sugar levels begin to rise, which causes diabetes. The condition falls into two separate groups: type one and type two. Type one is an autoimmune condition, in which no insulin is produced by the body as it is mistaken as harmful, so the body destroys it. Type one is much less common than type two, in which not enough insulin is produced, or the body simply doesn’t react to it.
The symptoms of the condition are explained as including feeling thirsty, having to urinate more often and especially at night, tiredness, infections that reoccur, as well as blurred vision. Diabetes is a condition that is for a lifetime, and without proper management, can become worse as time passes.
As NHS advice states, it’s important to detect the condition as soon as possible. In England, diabetes affects over three million people. Type one is normally inherited, but with both types of the condition, you are more likely to develop it if a close relative also has it. You can find more information about the causes of type one diabetes here, and type two diabetes here.
Each year, World Diabetes Day and the campaigns surrounding it focus on a particular theme. This year, the theme is healthy living and diabetes, as explained by the International Diabetes Federation. The organisation explains how the event can be marked by a number of activities, such as cycle races, runs and walks, as well as workshops and radio programmes.
In the UK, charity Diabetes UK provides a wealth of information and advice surrounding the condition and the available treatments. Its website also features a forum in which users can gain advice and discuss individual experiences.